Statement By The Press Secretary - Kyoto Protocol Signing

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 12, 1998


Acting U.N. Ambassador Peter Burleigh is today signing the KyotoProtocol on behalf of the United States.

The Protocol, negotiated last December in Kyoto, Japan, is an historicstep forward in international efforts to address global climate change.Representatives of more than 160 nations are gathered this week in BuenosAires to continue the important work begun in Kyoto. Our signing reaffirmsAmerica's commitment to work with the international community to turn thebroad concepts of the Kyoto Protocol into working realities. It alsoensures our ability to continue playing a strong role in completing work onthe key issues that remain unresolved.

Signing does not legally commit the United States to implement theProtocol. The Protocol would become binding only with the advice andconsent of the U.S. Senate. President Clinton has made clear that theUnited States regards the Kyoto Protocol as a work in progress, and that itwill not be submitted for ratification without the meaningful participationof key developing countries in efforts to address climate change.
We are encouraged by President Menem's announcement yesterday, inBuenos Aires, that Argentina will take on a binding emissions target underthe same timetable as developed countries. Argentina is the firstdeveloping country to pledge such action, and we applaud President Menem's
leadership and courage.


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